May 20, 2014

Alabama Motorcycle Deaths Fall - Officials Warn Against Complacency

The Governors Highway Safety Association has released a new report indicating the number of motorcycle fatalities has fallen significantly, both in Alabama and at the national level.
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Across the U.S., motorcycle deaths were down 7.2 percent in the first nine months of last year, compared to the first nine months of 2012, according to preliminary figures. In Alabama, officials noted a 22 percent decline.

It would be great if we could assume that officials finally succeeded with a motorcycle awareness campaign that was extremely effective or that motor vehicle operators were at last exhibiting greater caution. However, Montgomery motorcycle accident lawyers, know that the decline is more a stabilizing statistic, following an especially sharp rise in motorcycle fatalities in 2012.

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May 12, 2014

Liability and Pure Contributory Negligence in Alabama

Laws regarding personal injury in Alabama can be complex. For example, a lot of people aren't aware that in this state, the courts recognize a legal theory called pure contributory negligence. busdriver.jpg

We're one of only four states, plus D.C., that recognize this theory, and it holds that if a person is found responsible on any level for his or her own injuries, the other at-fault party can't be held liable - at all.

Personal injury attorneys in Montgomery recognize that this means the standard of proof for victims of negligence in Alabama is higher than for many other places, so it's critical that you have experienced legal help from the outset.

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May 1, 2014

Alabama Train Accidents Target of Awareness Campaign

"See tracks? Think Train!"

That's the slogan for a new national awareness campaign designed to warn both motorists and pedestrians of railroad dangers. Here in Alabama, we have one of the highest rates of fatality for highway-railroad crossings in the country.
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Our Injury lawyers in Montgomery note Alabama ranks 15th in the country for overall railroad deaths. That's according to the Federal Railroad Administration, which tallied 85 train-related collisions with vehicles and 19 deaths, including those in vehicles and on foot, in Alabama during 2013.

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April 25, 2014

Fatal Montgomery Car Accident Prompts GM Ignition Switch Lawsuit

News of the recall of millions of General Motors vehicles due to a faulty ignition switch has been big national news, but one of the cases to result in a lawsuit involved a young mother here in Northwest Alabama.
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She was killed in a Montgomery car accident in December, and now her father is suing the auto manufacturer on the grounds that it knew of the defects in the 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt model she was driving - and did nothing to warn her or other customers.

According to the lawsuit filed in Lauderdale County Circuit Court, the ignition in the woman's vehicle suddenly quit on Dec. 4, 2013. As a result, the 3,200-pound vehiclel was totally uncontrollable. She crossed the center line into oncoming traffic, slamming directly into the path of an 18-wheeler log truck. Investigators say she died instantly as her vehicle burst into flames.

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April 18, 2014

Building Code Violations May be Grounds for Negligence Claim Following Injury

When a person suffers injury as a result of conditions on a property that fail to meet the current building code standards - either by state or local ordinance - this could be grounds for filing a premises liability lawsuit. houserailing.jpg

Of course, there are exceptions, which is why it's important to have your case carefully examined by an experienced personal injury lawyer in Montgomery before proceeding.

The Alabama Supreme Court weighed this issue in the 2005 case of Parker Bldg. Servs. Co. v. Lightsey. Here, the case stemmed from an injury to a 5-year-old boy in Homewood, resulting from his presence on commercial property where building code violations existed. The ceiling caved in, causing the boy to fall to the floor and hit his head, resulting in a stroke and permanent paralysis.

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April 10, 2014

Alabama Supreme Court: Damage Caps Not Applicable for City Worker Sued Individually

A young boy in Montgomery was electrocuted when he came in contact with a broken chain link fence that had become electrified due to improperly secured wiring at a commercial building next door to his great-grandmother's house.
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Following his death, his mother filed a lawsuit against not only the owner of the property, but also the city inspector who had deemed the property to be in safe condition several months earlier. Recently, that case, Morrow v. Caldwell, was heard by the Alabama Supreme Court on the issue of state-agent immunity and damage caps.

When the mother filed the lawsuit against the city electrical inspector, she sued him in his official capacity. He responded by claiming state-agent immunity. She then amended her complaint to sue him in his individual capacity for "individual acts of negligence and wantonness that contributed to the death of (her son)." She alleged he hadn't followed proper protocol, and had either intentionally or in bad faith allowed the property to be cleared for electrical restoration (it had been off for eight months prior, which is why the inspection was required).

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April 4, 2014

Roe v. St. Louis University, et al. - Establishing Liability By Deliberate Indifference

When we send our children off to college, we know that we can't protect them from every possible scenario that may arise. We trust that we have equipped them with the necessary tools to act wisely and seek our counsel when they need it.
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However, when it comes to the issue of campus sexual assault, parents have little control. We must trust that the university will do everything in its power to limit the potential for such incidents or, at the very least, respond swiftly and appropriately when an allegation is made. In fact, higher educational institutions that receive federal funding are legally bound to do so under Title IX.

Montgomery injury attorneys
know, however, that proving a school failed in this regard can be a tough task. Plaintiffs are required to show that the institution acted with "deliberate indifference," either to the threat of an assault before it happens or in response to an assault, after the allegation is made.

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March 31, 2014

Montgomery Car Accidents: Expect a Fight With Insurer

No matter what the circumstances surrounding your Montgomery car accident injuries, you can almost always be assured that you will be in for a fight with an insurance company. gavel41.jpg

It's rare that an insurer will simply pay out the policy without any challenge. This is especially true if you are seeking compensation from more than one source - as you are perfectly entitled to do. Still, insurance companies will seek to use this to offset the scope of their own liability. Sometimes they are successful. However, as the recent Indiana Supreme Court case of Justice v. Am. Family Ins. Co. shows, many times, they are not.

Insurers often bank on the belief that you won't fight back, that you will accept the first offer they make. We are committed to fighting for full and just compensation - from all potential sources - for our injured clients.

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March 24, 2014

Dangers of Delaying Civil Lawsuit for Car Accident Injuries Until End of Criminal Case

Sometimes in cases of Montgomery car accident injuries, at-fault parties may be facing criminal charges as well as the civil complaint. arrested.jpg

For example, a drunk driver causes serious injury or death to others on the road, and is now facing felony charges of DUI manslaughter and DUI property damage.

It's true that at the conclusion of some criminal cases, the judge may order the defendant to pay restitution to the victim, and this is achieved without the victim incurring the expenses that a civil case would necessitate. It's also true that some courts may order that a civil proceeding be halted until the conclusion of a criminal case. (This was what happened in the recent case of Hardiman v. Cozmanoff, reviewed by the Indiana Supreme Court.)

However, this does not mean that a civil personal injury case is not worth pursuing or that you should wait any length of time before consulting with a lawyer or filing the case. In fact, there are a number of reasons why you should at least initiate the civil action prior to the completion of the criminal case.

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March 13, 2014

Amputation Injuries in Alabama a Complex Recovery for Employees and Motorists

A science reporter recently made headlines for an injury he sustained to his left arm that necessitated an amputation while he was on assignment in Asia.
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The correspondent, Miles O'Brien, would later lament the fact that he didn't have some harrowing story to tell about what happened. Basically, a heavy suitcase fell on his forearm, causing, over the course of several days, a condition known as acute compartment syndrome, which allows pressure to build up in the affected limb, cutting off essential blood supply and oxygen. Because he hadn't deemed it serious in the beginning, he waited far too long before seeking treatment. By then, the doctor ordered emergency surgery to remove the arm before deadly infection could spread to the other parts of O'Brien's body.

Our Montgomery injury lawyers know that while these kinds of incidents might seem rare, workers frequently encounter falling objects, defective or malfunctioning equipment. Auto accidents are another top cause of these complex injuries. While many advancements have been made in treatment, in large part due to returning veterans with amputation injuries, recovery is both lengthy and costly.


This case also illustrates the importance of seeking medical treatment as soon as possible after a traumatic injury, even if it doesn't seem all that serious at first.

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March 6, 2014

Temp Workers at High Risk for Alabama Work Injuries

The anecdotes are numerous:


  • The contract worker from Alabama who died after falling down an elevator shaft at a Louisville cement factory;

  • The temp worker at Amazon.com who died after being crushed by equipment at the plant's New Jersey facility;

  • The 21-year-old Florida temp worker who died his first day on the job at the Jacksonville Bacardi Bottling facility after he was crushed by a palletizer machine.

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Our work injury lawyers in Montgomery wish we could say these incidents were fairly uncommon. But fact of the matter is, temporary workers are at grave risk of harm on the job. This is particularly true in occupations such as warehousing and manufacturing.

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February 25, 2014

Protecting Child Passengers in Side-Impact Accidents

Child car seats could soon be regulated to make sure that they protect your young passengers in the event of a side-impact accident, based on recommendations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (NHTSA) According to the Los Angeles Times, NHTSA officials are proposing a new, tougher set of regulations to make sure that car seats for children weight up to 40 pounds now include accurate "t-bone" testing.
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This new test would be a first of its kind, and could potentially save lives and protect about 100 child passengers from serious injury each year, according to government estimates.

Our car accident attorneys in Montgomery note traffic collisions continue to be the leading cause of death for children. With tougher standards, we can help prevent tragedies. Car seats continue to play a vital role in helping to protect these young passengers. Not only is it important that parents and guardians are using the right car seat correctly, but it's critical that manufacturers are doing whatever possible to ensure that these seats continue to evolve with technology.

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February 20, 2014

Taylor v. Biba - Technicalities in Car Accident Lawsuits

Any persons interested in filing a car accident lawsuit in Montgomery must know that a case can be won or lost - sometimes before it is ever gets its day in court - on the basis of legal technicalities. atwork.jpg

There is so much to be considered, from the timing of the claim to how it is filed, to the details included in the filing. And even after the case is won, there are careful considerations that must be made if the defendant chooses to appeal.

This is what makes hiring an experienced and dedicated legal team such an important part of the process. No attorney can guarantee the outcome of any case, but you want to make very certain that any adverse outcome isn't due to the oversight of some issue that was easily avoidable. You also want to make sure that if your adversary slips up, you have an attorney who knows the law well enough to catch it and raise the issue to your advantage.

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February 10, 2014

Miller v. Mylan Inc. - Product Liability Claims for Fentanyl Patches

There have recently been a growing number of product liability lawsuits filed against drug manufacturers for culpability in the injury and death of persons who were given transdermal fentanyl patches.
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It is alleged in these cases that the drug, when administered in this manner, has the potential to deliver an injurious or even fatal dose - something patients are never warned about prior to placing the patch on their skin.

In one such case out of Michigan, Miller v. Mylan Inc., the patch had to be defined under the state's product liability law as it pertains to drug manufacturers. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently wrestled with the issue of whether the patch should be considered a drug, a device or a combination product. The distinction will determine whether the case will be allowed to move forward.

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February 1, 2014

Deaths in Freak Alabama Storm a Reminder of Winter Risks

We've been seeing some radical weather lately. This rare winter storm has been wreaking havoc in our state, and especially on the highways.
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Traffic in the areas has been at a standstill, even leaving people to walk the interstate in search of snacks and water to make it through the night. Some were lucky enough to hit the road with a full tank of gas and a phone charger, but not all of them.

Our Montgomery car accident lawyers understand that the freak storm has already been blamed for close to 15 fatalities. According to USA TODAY, At least 9 of those people died in traffic collisions. In Alabama, where freezing rain made driving perilous, at least five people were killed in weather-related traffic accidents Tuesday, state Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Steve Jarrett said. The arctic blast crippling much of the deep South has prompted six states to declare emergencies and brought criticism on the National Weather Service and state and local governments. Alabama was one of those states under a state of emergency.

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